Although still a hazy image in long-range transportation plans, prop-erty acquisition could soon begin along the northern Davis County corridor of the Legacy Highway.

Before the Utah Department of Transportation can purchase land, a preliminary engineering study needs to be completed. To accomplish that, the Wasatch Front Regional Council on Thursday approved $420,000 to fund the study."You would save a heck of a lot of money by buying this property now," said Will Jeffries, WFRC executive director. He estimated that those savings could run as high as $10 million.

Although the study won't determine an exact route, it will help UDOT identify the corridor the road would follow. Then, land within that corridor that would likely intersect with any alternative could be purchased.

Having the money readily available from the WFRC allows the study to be more quickly completed, Jeffries said. Eventually, however, he hopes the expenditures can be reimbursed by the state.

"Since this is a state road, we would like to see the state do the work with their money," Jeffries said.

The route studied will run from Farmington to Ogden, and will likely be the third or fourth portion of the 170-mile Legacy Highway constructed. Eventually, the Legacy Highway will run between Nephi and Brigham City, according to transportation planners.

The study was the only expenditure approved by the WFRC, although a number of other studies for transportation in Davis County - such as light rail, bus service, and other highway projects - were placed into the long-range plan, to be tagged for future money.

Those are all necessary, said Byron Parker, engineer for UDOT, for successful solutions to the transportation problems in the county.